Superman never made any money for saving the world from Solomon Grundy

Monday, October 3, 2016

5.9 for 59: a Geek's Tour of The City of Subdued Excitement

I haven't done this in some years, but I took the day off for my birthday and had a solo walkabout. Coco had to work and was gone for the bulk of the day, the weather was cooperating, and I need the exercise, so off I went to clock 5.9 miles to commemorate the end of my 59th year.

(Of course, the 5.9 was arbitrarily selected for its symmetry in the title; I actually traveled a bit further than that.)

I started by deadheading to the other side of town by bus. BTW, the bus fare in Bellingham is one dollar, but there are no transfers - a buck each time you get on.

Coco wanted selfies, so here I am at the start of the walk, entering the Railroad Trail, one of the many urban and interurban trails in the Bellingham area.

When I exited the trail and got back in the neighborhood, I was going to stop for a bite here at Homeskillet, but alas it was closed on Mondays. Still fun to look at!

(Obligatory Christopher Walken pun.)

My next stop was to be Cosmic Comics, one of the two comics shops in Belligham...

...but they were closed as well - apparently, they had a fire about a week ago that I hadn't heard about.

Undaunted, I continued my journey, stopping briefly at Arlis's Restaurant for a cup of coffee and an excellent corn muffin.

Can you answer the trivia question on Arlis's wall? I could. (Answer below.)

Finally, a planned stop that was actually open: Henderson Books. This place is off the hook: imagine the entire stock of Powell's crammed into a space one-third the size. I'll be doing a separate post on my prior adventure here but suffice it to say it's amazing.

Today, I just picked this up. After the Misadventure of the Three-Week Tuba Player (also the subject of a separate post), I felt I needed some formal education.

I took a little detour to Dark Tower Games; it also wasn't open yet, but I hadn't planned on going in. It's a pretty solid game store; I just wish it had more grown-up gamers hanging out.

Finders Keepers is a few doors down from Dark Tower - it's an eclectic - or confused - shop that doesn't seem to know whether it wants to be a mainstream toy store a  geeky game store, or, it seems, a comics shop.

This was my main destination: the Comics Place, the other comics shop in town. They recently moved from  a typically sketchy comic shop storefront to a wonderful space in bank building, of all places. Look at all those straights exiting the lobby door that the shop shares with the offices.

I mean seriously, this is like the Daily Planet building or something.  It's a warm, clean, open, carpeted store and I hope they do well there.

I did my best to contribute to the cause: a couple of Batman anthologies, happy birthday from me to me.

I left downtown via the South Bay Trail, which runs on a hillside along Bellingham Bay , with constant glimpses of the water...

 ...and some great views when there's a clearing. In the center of this picture is a small white tower set against the green trees - that's on campus, and the building that can be seen just to the left of it is where my office is.

The trail connects to Boulevard Park, which is connected to Fairhaven Village by a pair of over-the-water boardwalks. I hit 5.9 miles just before I reached the village green.

All in all, a pretty sweet day, and a nice chance to reflect in what it means to be entering my sixtieth year. More on that later, as well.

Oh, and Elmo Lincoln was the first screen Tarzan.

Monday, August 1, 2016

To sleep, perchance to dream

So, last night I dreamt that I met up with my friend Rob, whom I have known since sixth grade but haven't seen for over twenty years, although we stay in touch in the intertubes.  We were waiting for the express bus from Brooklyn into Manhattan, and while we were waiting I was telling Rob about two dreams that I had had. The first was a recurring dream I was having about forgetting to implement a whole new program or course at school, something having to do with maritime work; the other was another work dream, about someone from another department asking about some computer procedures in my office, which was confusing because the person asking had as much or more computer access than my admin and should have been able to do all that and more. After I told Rob about the dreams, we got on the bus, which was huge, like twenty feet across, with a full three-person token booth in the front. Rob hightailed it somewhere into the recesses of the bus as I fumbled with the fare machine, trying to get it to take a ripped twenty-dollar bill.

Anyway, the dream is not all that hard to interpret: Rob often blogs about his commute, so the appearance of the bus is no surprise; the forgetting-the-program dream is just the dean equivalent of the showing-up-for-the-final-of-a-class-you-forgot-to-attend-all-quarter dream (and I am launching a  new program right now); and the computer stuff probably reflects some issues we have been having over dividing administrative responsibilities for new program.

No, the noteworthy thing about this dream is that the dreams I was telling Rob about in the dream are actually dreams I have had on other nights. So dream-Walter was telling dream-Rob about real dreams real-Walter had had, not dream-dreams that dream-Walter had had. I am quite sure this is the first time my dreams have ever been cross-referenced. I have had repeated dreams, similar dreams, and even sequels to dreams, but never once have had a dream called out in another.


What's even spookier is that I used the word twenty three times in the first paragraph without even knowing it. That's gotta be some kind of sign...